Steeped in both history and vibrancy, the resort town of Lake Geneva in southern Wisconsin offers a timeless appeal. Here are the top five reasons why you’ll want to plan a visit…

Lake Geneva: An Introduction

Located in southern Wisconsin just twelve miles north of the Illinois border, Lake Geneva is a popular destination for visitors from all over the midwest. The town is about two hours from Chicago by car, and about an hour from downtown Milwaukee.

The main attraction, but far from the only attraction, is Geneva Lake. Surrounded by stately mansions, the lake is a four seasons playground that draws people back again and again. Downtown Lake Geneva is just steps away, with its many unique specialty shops and inviting dining and nightlife options.

Surrounding the lake are other appealing small communities, like Williams Bay and Fontana on the lake’s western edge. Several resorts offer a full service vacation experience, while smaller motels attract the budget conscious traveler.

Having been consistent visitors to the Lake Geneva area for over 40 years, here are our top five reasons to plan a visit:

#1: The Lady of the Lake

The Lady of the Lake is a classic paddlewheel style vessel that offers narrated tours of Geneva Lake. Enjoy the fresh lake breezes and learn about the spectacular mansions that dot the shoreline.

Tours are offered daily in season. There’s even a mail delivery cruise where the “mailman” leaps off the boat to deliver the mail, and then leaps back aboard, all while the boat is moving!

#2: Specialty Shopping

The downtown area is a pleasant, walkable district that is chock full of independent specialty shops. From art galleries to home decor to fashion, it’s all here.

There are frequent specialty and themed shopping events throughout the year, most notably Maxwell Street Days in August when just about everything is on sale.

#3: Wisconsin Fish Frys

You’ll find no shortage of upscale and intimate dining choices in the area, but nothing can beat a good old fashioned Wisconsin fish fry. You can try one every Friday for a year and still not hit them all!

The typical fish fry includes fried or broiled local fish, served with french fries or potato pancakes and cole slaw. Wash it down with a fresh local beer, relax, and enjoy!

#4: A Little Bit Of Napa Valley

Interestingly, the immediate area around Lake Geneva is something of a wine hot spot. The terrain is suited for all sorts of agricultural pursuits, including growing grapes. There are three wineries within 15 minutes of downtown, with a couple more slated to open in the near future.

#5: The Cheese Box

That’s the actual name of a store just outside of town that has been selling Wisconsin’s finest cheeses since 1940. A local landmark, The Cheese Box also offers a selection of gourmet sausages, along with just about everything you’ll need for a picnic along the lake.


While we’ve just scratched the surface, rest assured there are dozens more reasons to explore the beauty that is Lake Geneva. The appeal of this small resort community will draw you back again and again. No matter your passion, you can find it in this beautiful historic community.

Source by Jim Hofman

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